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Blue Cheese Beef

This is another low-carb diet recipe. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m currently sticking to a low-carb (under 100g a day) and calorie controlled diet after getting to my heaviest ever while finishing up my PhD. This diet has been working really well for me and I’ve lost a stone in under 3 months (averaging at just over a lb a week). With this diet I’m going for slow-and-steady, rather than crash dieting, as I believe it gives more sustainable results and encourages better eating habits in the long run. I do have a day off a week to stop myself going stir crazy.


This recipe serves 2-3 people and was great served with wholegrain rice.


Fillet steak – 1lb/450g (cut into bite-sized strips)

Mushrooms – 250g (sliced)

Garlic – 4 cloves (crushed)

Olive oil – 1 tablespoon

Saint Agur (semi-soft blue cheese) – 100g

Worcestershire sauce – 2 tablespoons

Seasoning – pepper


  1. In a frying pan, over a medium heat, cook the mushrooms and garlic with the oil. Add a little water if it gets too dry.
  2. When the mushrooms are soft turn up the heat and add the sliced beef, seasoning, and Worcestershire sauce.
  3. When the meat is browned all over, add the cheese and a little water if the pan looks dry.
  4. Stir until the cheese is melted and you have a creamy sauce.
  5. Serve.

Garlic, Soy & Honey Pork Shoulder Steaks

The most popular recipe on my blog has to be my Garlic, Soy & Honey Slow Cooked Pork Belly Slices. It’s a great full-flavoured sticky and spicy recipe that is bound to be a hit with any pork fan. It’s only downside is it does take quite a while to cook. This version allows you to have the same flavours in a fraction of the cooking-time.


The basic recipe is the same, all that needs to be adjusted is the cooking time and that it is cooked uncovered.


Pork shoulder steaks – about 2 per person depending on thickness

Chinese five spice – 2-3 teaspoons

Chilli flakes – 1-2 teaspoons

Garlic – 1 clove per steak (finely chopped)

Soy sauce – a few tabelspoons

Honey – a few tablespoons

Equipment: Knife, chopping board, baking tray, tongs.


  1. Place the pork shoulder steaks in the baking tray and season with the five spice and chilli flakes.
  2. Add the garlic, soy, and honey and make sure the meat is well coated in the mixture.
  3. Cover and leave to marinade for as long as you can.
  4. Cook in a preheated oven at 160°C/Fan 140°C/Gas 3 for 20-30 minutes, depending on the thickness of the steaks. Turn halfway through cooking time.
  5. Turn the oven up to 210°C/Fan 190°C/Gas 7. If there is a lot of excess liquid pour some off into a mug, leaving it about 1cm deep. You can keep the sauce warm or thicken it in a pan, bringing it to the boil with a little cornflour. It’s great poured over the cooked steaks or some rice.
  6. Drizzle with another tablespoon of honey if you want them extra sticky. Return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes.
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Garlic, Ginger & Chilli Pork Fillet

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m currently on a low-carb, low-calorie diet. Pork fillet is a great cut of meat for such a diet as it’s super lean and reasonably priced. It is, however, fairly bland so it’s a good idea to marinade it.



Pork fillet – 1lb/450g (cut in half)

Garlic – 4 cloves (crushed)

Root ginger – c. 1 inch (peeled and sliced into matchsticks)

Vinegar (cider vinegar is great with pork but ordinary is fine) – 2 tablespoons

Chilli flakes – a couple of teaspoons (depending on how hot you like it)

Honey – 1 tablespoon

Soy sauce – 1 tablespoon


  1. In an oven-proof dish marinate the pork with all the ingredients but the soy sauce for as long as possible, turning every so often.
  2. Thirty to sixty minutes before cooking remove the pork from the fridge, add the soy sauce and coat well, cover with foil.
  3. Cook in a preheated oven at 200°C/Fan 180°/Gas 6 for approx. 30 minutes, or until cooked through. 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time, remove the foil and baste.

Getting Back to Blogging and Low-Carb Dieting

I haven’t blogged regularly for a shamefully long time. I’ve had lots of things going on in ‘real life’ and the popularity of my blog meaning that it has more or less taken care of itself has allowed me to get away with this neglect. Things have settled down a bit now and in the past month I’ve been cooking and making more new recipes, providing lots of material for the blog.

While I may not have been blogging for a while, that hasn’t stopped me eating, sometimes too much and the wrong things, so once again I’m on a diet! I’ve previously tried the Dukan Diet and Slimming World but neither has been quite the right fit for me. I found the Dukan too restrictive and a bit complicated, and I hated the oat bran! The weight loss was really good though. Slimming World let me sneak in too many starchy carbs, while I’d lose half my syns on a small glass of orange juice and as soon as I ate anything that was ready-prepared my syns shot up too! My weight loss was quite good on Slimming World but I found keeping on top how many syns I was having without the help of an app (only Slimming World members can access syns catalogue on their free app) a bit difficult, and I’m not really a diet club meeting type of person. There are lots of great free dieting and nutrition apps out there though, so I decided to come up with my own calorie and carb-controlled diet.

As a petite and not terribly active person I’ve decided to stick to about 1,200 cals a day and under 100g of carbs. The apps are great as I can easily see what I’ve eaten and many include exercise calculators too, so if I’m more active I can consume more calories. It seems to be going quite well so far, I’ve lost 7lbs in less than 4 weeks!

One hundred grams of carbs may not sound like a lot but I’m able to have a glass of fruit juice, 2 slices of wholemeal bread, and a decent-sized baked potato (c. 200g) or portion of rice a day (half a microwavable pouch), with a few grams to spare. Most vegetables are also really low in carbs with only a few grams per 100g so you can fill up on them. Expect a lot of meat-tastic recipes over the next few months, such as Quick Blue Cheese Beef, Slow Cooker Ribs, and Garlic, Ginger & Chilli Pork Fillet (pictured).


I’ve been having one day off the diet a week. I do try not to go crazy on the carbs, chain-eating pizza probably would undo the work done the previous 6 days, but I’ve not been denying myself and I’ve been baking a few tasty treats, including some awesome Chocolate Brownies (pictured). I’ve also perfected my Ultimate Baked Cheesecake (recipes to follow).


I hope you’ll all enjoy my new posts, and I promise to try and publish at lease one a week, as well as keeping you updated on the progress of my diet.

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2014 in Review – Thank You Readers!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Thanks to all my readers. I hope you keep visiting and I hope to be more productive with my posts this year!

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 260,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 11 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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DON’T PANIC! One Week Until Christmas: Tips to Help You Cope

If you’re cooking the Christmas dinner this year why not give yourself the best present of all, an easy time! It’s just one day, it’s not really that much more effort than an ordinary roast dinner, and it is ok to cheat if it’ll make the cook calmer and happier. Anyone that doesn’t like it can make the Christmas dinner next year!

Sit down and plan what you’re actually going to cook and what people will eat (there’s really no point in preparing a pound of sprouts if only one person eats them!).

Know how much you can get in your oven! Will two types of meat, roast potatoes, stuffing and yorkshire puddings fit in your oven all at the same time? No? Make some stuff in advance or consider using a slow cooker – lamb shoulder, pork shoulder, and whole chickens taste great done in the slow cooker and you can cook the carrots and swede in with them too instead of boiling them. If you have an ActiFry consider doing your roast vegetables/potatoes in that.

Start making stuff now, all that really needs to be cooked on the day is the meat, the stuffing, the roast potatoes (you can reheat them but they are best the first time around), and the gravy. The freezer is your new bestfriend. Start cooking the side dishes, do one a night and freeze them until the big day. The advantage of this is you can hit the supermarkets now while they’re quieter without having to worry about it going off before the big day. Mashed vegetables and yorkshire puddings are fine reheated and it saves hob and oven space on the day.

Cheat! Iceland frozen mash is great. You do it in the microwave, all you need to do is add a bit more milk to loosen it up a bit, or you could use butter or cream to make it extra special. You can get practically everything prepared now, you just need to make sure you’re oven is big enough to fit all the containers!

Drink! Something alcoholic always aids the cooking experience.

Here are some recipes for the basics but you can also check out my Christmas Category or use the search bar at the side for other recipes.

Beef Wellington


Roast Goose


Slow Cooker Roasted Shoulder of Lamb


Roast Pork with Crackling & Gravy


Braised Pork


Slow Cooker Roast Chicken


Goose Fat Roasted Potatoes


Honey Roasted Carrots & Parsnips


Mashed Potato

Carrot & Swede Mash


Yorkshire Puddings

Giant and Medium Yorkshires

Giant and Medium Yorkshires

Pigs in Blankets

Reheating Roast Potatoes & Vegetables

Mary Berry’s Chocolate Yule Log



Braised Pork

Ok, so my promise to blog more regularly hasn’t really been fulfilled over the past few weeks. Partly life has gotten in the way, and partly because of an unreliable internet connection.

Anyway I hope this recipe will make up for it.


This recipe was cooked in a conventional oven, but could be easily adapted for a slow cooker. Follow the recipe to step 3, and then place ingredients in a slow cooker. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 8-9 hours.



Olive oil – 1 tablespoon

Red onioins – 2 (sliced)

Balsamic vinegar – 2 tablespoons

Pork leg – 3lb/1.2kg

Chicken oxo cube

Potatoes – 4 medium sized (halved)

Carrots – 3 (chopped)

Celery – 3 stalks (chopped)

Worcester sauce – 2 tablespoons

Seasoning – salt, pepper, mixed herbs and sage.

Equipment: Chopping board, knife, lidded casserole


  1. Heat the casserole dish, add the olive oil and onions. Fry on a medium heat until softened.
  2. Add balsamic vinegar and sautee.
  3. Remove excess fat from the pork, season and sear on all sides.
  4. Add the vegetables, stock cubes, seasoning and Worcester sauce.
  5. Add boiling water until Pork is almost covered.
  6. Bring to boil, cover and place in preheated oven (160°C/ Fan 140°C/ Gas 3).
  7. Cook for 3 hours.
  8. Remove meat to carve (though it’ll probably fall apart more than more than slice!). The stock can also be reduced if a thicker gravy is desired.



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